Federal judge tosses Arizona lawsuit seeking to decertify election results
PHOENIX – A lawsuit seeking to decertify the results of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona was thrown out in federal court on Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa tossed out the lawsuit that was filed by former President Donald Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell on behalf of proposed Trump electors in Arizona. The judge said the challenge failed “to provide the court with factual support for their extraordinary claims.”
“Allegations that find favor in the public sphere of gossip and innuendo cannot be a substitute for earnest pleadings and procedure in federal court,” Humetewa said in the ruling.
“They most certainly cannot be the basis for upending Arizona’s 2020 general election. The court is left with no alternative but to dismiss this matter in its entirety.”
The case alleged that Arizona’s election systems have security flaws that let election workers and foreign countries manipulate results and that those systems switched votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.
Attorneys for the state’s election officials have said the lawsuit uses conspiracy theories to make wild allegations not backed up by any proof against Dominion Voting Systems, one of Maricopa County’s vendors for voting equipment, to back up its claims of widespread Arizona election fraud.
Dominion’s equipment was used for voting and vote tabulation in more than 30 states.
The company has been the target of a number of false claims and about the election pushed by supporters of Trump, among them that the company switched or deleted votes cast for Trump and that it has ties to prominent Democrats.
In all, seven lawsuits challenging the results of the presidential vote in Arizona have been dismissed, including Ward’s lawsuit seeking to overturn Biden’s victory.
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said the lawsuit’s dismissal marked a turning point in the democratic process.
“My sincerest concern about each of these legal actions was never that they would invalidate the results, but were instead intended to create discord and dissolution, further exploiting divisions in our communities,” Hobbs said in a statement. “Although the courts have dismissed these claims, the damage has been done. We are emerging from an election cycle that has further normalized vitriol and violence.”
On Nov. 30, Arizona’s two top-ranking Republican elected officials, Gov. Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich, signed off on Hobbs’ election certification.
The certified results showed Biden winning Arizona by more than 10,000 votes to claim the state’s 11 electoral votes. As it stands, Biden will win the presidency by a 306-232 margin when the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14. Biden’s inauguration is set for Jan. 20.
Biden won in Maricopa County, the state’s most-populous region, by more than 45,000 votes in becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Arizona since 1996.
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr has said the Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the election.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.